Open Letter to the North End Elected Officials,
I love living in Boston. I have lived in the North End since 2000. I have not owned a car since 2011. Carless residents are currently Boston’s stated goal; unfortunately, it is becoming more and more difficult to move around the city on foot.
Construction of buildings and sidewalks create pinch points which result in the mingling of pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles which create dangerous and unsafe conditions (e.g. woman critically injured while walking on Commercial Street when struck by roofing construction materials on July 25, 2019). Bike lanes have forced pedestrians into narrower spaces and have reduced lanes for vehicle traffic.
When I need a vehicle Uber and Zipcar are my first choices. Sadly, both are being burdened with fees which reduce their desirability (e.g. Massachusetts State Police training fee). Additionally, road congestion is unchecked and in gridlock for hours each day. Small steps such as enforcing don’t-block-the-box are ignored.
Finally, the option of public transport. I use and enjoy this option; unfortunately, the MBTA has become unreliable despite continued fare increases. The current solution is to shut down the green, red and orange lines for 48-hours at a time. This volume of repairs is unprecedented and did not happen overnight. Scheduled maintenance appears to be a fanciful illusion in Boston. Shame on the city and the state for kicking-the-can down the road regarding scheduled maintenance until a crisis occurred which cannot be ignored (i.e. six derailments thus far in 2019).
I am a carless resident of Boston out of transportation options. There is nowhere left for me to turn. The RMV is grossly negligent, the MBTA is shamefully mismanaged and politicians see their traffic savior in luxury lanes and fees on ride share options such as Uber and Zipcar. Transportation in Boston needs investigation at every level because the status quo is not just a failure, but a hazard to Boston’s residents and workers. Grand, multi-year projects are no longer palatable. We need action here and now. I implore you to roll up your sleeves and start at the beginning; trains running on time, traffic rules enforced and construction projects actively managed for timely completion and minimal disruption to the flow of the city. Thank you for your time.
All the best,
North End resident
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